Real Estate Investing Top 11 Metros for House Flipping

Flipping houses can be another great strategy for real estate investing. As discussed in previous blogs and podcasts, flipping generally requires an investor to take a hands-on approach to the investment rather than focusing on appreciation and cash flow as they would in a long-term hold. The investor takes the responsibility of renovating to add value to a distressed property that they then aim to sell to a homeowner at a premium. The key is finding a property at the right price that requires the right amount of renovation to fit into their investment strategy. Ultimately, after doing value-add improvements, the investor profits from the sale. Those who can find the balance and master this craft are able to replicate the process and continue finding repeat success with house flipping.

When evaluating markets to find flip opportunities, investors should try to identify markets with older housing stock coupled with job growth to continue driving demand. For example, about 70% of the houses in Los Angeles were built before 1970. It’s no surprise there has been a boom of house flipping in the LA metro area. It’s typically much easier to add value to houses that need the modernization, rather than houses built after 1980 that generally don’t hold as much opportunity for value-add renovations. Employment growth is also an important factor to consider when identifying flip markets, as a growing economy is a strong indicator for housing demand. As dictated by simple economics, growing demand is generally strongly correlated with low vacancies and increased rental prices.

The below metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) represent the top markets in the country exhibiting both booming employment AND a high volume of flips*:

  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell GA
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX
  • Denver-Aurora-Lakewood CO
  • Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise NV
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford FL
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro OR-WA
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA
  • Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade CA
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward CA
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue WA
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL

These featured markets are currently the most popular for flips. Each of the above metros are demonstrating employment growth of 5% or greater. They’ve each also had over 500 flips in Q1 of 2017.* Other markets experiencing impressive job growth and only slightly less volume in flips include: Charleston, NC, Miami, FL and San Antonio, TX.

As discussed in The Real Investor Podcast episode 38, most of these investors live in mature markets. Not surprising, most of these markets correlate with high flip volume. Top markets include:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Houston, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Portland, OR
  • Riverside, CA
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Seattle, WA
  • St. Louis, IL
  • Tampa, FL
  • Washington, DC

See the below maps to narrow down on other metros with growing job markets and high flip volume. We’ve also included a map showing where most flippers live.

*Based on data collected by RentRange®

BlogMichael Shai